Former IFD Chief Brian Sanford dies at 59 after battle with ALS

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Brian Sanford

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 21, 2016)– The Indianapolis Fire Department (IFD) announced Monday that former Chief Brian L. Sanford passed away after a battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

IFD said Sanford passed away shortly after 3 p.m. Monday. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by friends and family. He was 59.

“Brian was an excellent fire chief, but he was an even better man.  The relationships he forged and the people he touched throughout his time in the fire service will forever be remembered as he continues to watch over us each and every day.  All of us are better for knowing him – I know I am,” said IFD Chief Ernest Malone.

Sanford is survived by his wife Diane Sanford, his three sons Ryan, Mike and Mark, and his eight grandchildren. He was diagnosed with ALS in June 2011.

Sanford grew up on a dairy farm on the east side and graduated from Mount Vernon High School. He was a 32-year veteran firefighter and retired in December 2015.

Mayor Joe Hogsett issued the following statement:

“Today, we join the Indianapolis Fire Department as they mourn one of their organization’s great leaders. Brian Sanford was a remarkable chief, a dedicated public servant, and a mentor to so many in the department. His leadership and presence will be missed, but his legacy will live on through the work of the men and women of IFD. Together, all of us in Indianapolis and throughout Indiana, keep his wife Diane, his children, and grandchildren in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

The showing will take place Thursday from 1-7 p.m. at Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center, located at 10722 East Washington Street in Indianapolis.

Memorial services will be held Friday. The viewing will be at 9 a.m., and services will begin at 10 a.m. The services will be held at Indian Creek Christian Church, located at 6430 South Franklin Road in Indianapolis.

Burial information has not yet been released.

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